Bitcoin Pizza Day marks the day that Laszlo Hanyecz made the first recorded purchase of a physical good using Bitcoin.
Bitcoin Pizza Day will next be celebrated on Monday, May 22, 2023.
It sounds like an old joke; how many Satoshis does it take to buy a pizza? Believe it or not, history may have been made all the way back in 2010 in an event now immortalized as Bitcoin Pizza Day.
What Is Bitcoin Pizza Day?
May 22 is observed as Bitcoin Pizza Day and there are plenty of events that commemorate the informal holiday. But how did it start?
There are many crazy news stories about “Florida man” but in 2010 a Florida man did something history-making; he traded Bitcoin for pizza. Bartering is nothing new, but this particular transaction is very important because it may be the first example of an IRL transaction facilitated with Bitcoin.
And how the transaction was carried out would serve as an example for many similar transactions to come.
On May 22, 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz had 10,000 Bitcoins, then worth $40. He wanted to buy a pizza with his cryptocurrency, but there was no way for the retailer, Papa John’s, to accept the payment. What happened next is part of what made history.
Hanyecz reached out to an online community of Bitcoin enthusiasts and found someone willing to take his Bitcoin and purchase the pizza on his behalf.
Certainly not the first time such a thing had been tried in one form or another, but in terms of the shape of things to come that move is fairly groundbreaking in terms of bringing crypto culture and practices like these closer to the mainstream.
Once upon a time, someone offering crypto in exchange for goods or services might have seemed fairly scammy. Today, that’s not the first impression some may get from the offer.
Buying pizza with 10,000 coins also creates, in hindsight, a new record for World’s Most Expensive Pizza Ever, since a single Bitcoin has been valued at between $30 and $45K depending on which way the market winds are blowing. Multiply that by 10,000 and it’s easy to see why Bitcoin Pizza Day became “a thing”.
Doing the math, that 2010 pizza would cost over $3 billion if the same transaction happened today. The actual delivery of the pies took some four days, and the buyer, Jeremy “Jercos” Sturdivant, is on the record saying he did it because he thought it would be fun to make such a purchase. Today, some sources have declared Bitcoin Pizza Day to be the very first Bitcoin Holiday.
Jercos would help him complete the delivery the next day, the transaction taking place at around 2:16 p.m. EST, according to records supported by Bitcoin Talk.
Unfortunately this does not mean jercos is a millionaire today as he eventually sold his Bitcoin.
This observation is far too recent to have much in the way of large formal celebrations but individuals and companies have made a point to include May 22 in their marketing campaigns and promotions.
Morgan Creek Digital found Anthony Pompliano posted on social media about his week-long Bitcoin Pizza project, a brand expected to launch in ten cities. Morgan Creek Digital is a hedge fund and partnered with Bitwise to create the Digital Asset Index Fund, so it’s clear interest in Bitcoin Pizza Day is likely entrepreneurial.
And so are the Bitcoin-related efforts of Papa John’s Pizza, which announced a giveaway of 20,000 NFTs minted on Tezos to UK-based customers in March 2022 as well as offering free crypto giveaways to customers who buy enough Papa John’s to qualify.
Those promotions weren’t specifically tied to Bitcoin Pizza Day, but it’s telling that the same pizza company involved in the original transaction has gotten very cozy with Bitcoin.
How to Celebrate Bitcoin Pizza Day
The solution is simple eat pizza and if you can, pay for your pizza with bitcoin.
History of Bitcoin Price on Bitcoin Pizza Day
|May 22, 2010||About $.003|
|May 22, 2011||$6.12|
|May 22, 2012||$5.10|
|May 22, 2013||$123.89|
|May 22, 2014||$524.58|
|May 22, 2015||$240.35|
|May 22, 2016||$439.32|
|May 22, 2017||$2,173.40|
|May 22, 2018||$8,041.78|
|May 22, 2019||$7,673.85|
|May 22, 2020||$9,184.60|
|May 22, 2021||$37,673.01|
|May 22, 2022||30,086.53|
|May 22, 2023||TBD|
Joe Wallace has covered real estate and financial topics, including crypto and NFTs since 1995. His work has appeared on Veteran.com, The Pentagon Channel, ABC and many print and online publications. Joe is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News.